Oh my God! The legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar retired from international cricket after a long and splendid 24 year career. Am feeling a deep pain somewhere in the corner of my heart. Sachin, whom we dearly call as little master, master blaster, God of cricket, legendary cricketer, 10dulkar and Tendlya, will not be playing cricket anymore. It is an emotional moment for me to say goodbye to Sachin and probably goodbye to cricket too. This post is about my memories and thoughts of what Sachin and cricket was to me.
Sachin is the most profilic run-scorer in the history of cricket. He is the first person to make 100 international centuries. In 2002, Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack ranked him the second greatest Test batsman of all time, behind Don Bradman, and the second greatest one day international (ODI) batsman of all time, behind Viv Richards (from wikipedia). He was one of the backbone of Indian team when India won the Cricket World Cup in 2011. He has a fan following in millions across the globe. Hours after his retirement it was announced that he would be conferred with Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award and he would be the first sporstperson to get this award.
Sachin was born on April 24, 1973 to Ramesh and Rajni Tendulkar. He started playing cricket at the age of eleven. By 16, he made his debut against Pakistan and scored 15 in his first match. In the series, he got numerous blows to his body and also got hit on his nose. Without getting any medical assistance he continued playing even when blood was gushing from his nose. This was the tremendous start of the cricket God, Sachin. In the coming years, he became the heartthrob of India and a nightmare for the rest of the world.
I am a 90′s kid. I mean my childhood was in the era of 1990-2000. I think I started playing cricket from early 90′s and watching cricket from mid 90′s. Sachin was my favorite. We played cricket on the grounds, empty space in front of temples and empty sites. I played more cricket during late 90′s when we shifted to Bangalore in 1997. At the time I was in 6th standard. I played cricket until 10th standard and after that I officially retired from playing cricket to give focus on my studies. I have watched cricket of Indian cricketers like Mohammed Azharuddin, Vinod Kambi, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Ajay Jadeja, Robin Singh, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad, V V S Laxman, Virendar Sehwag, Mohammed Kaif, Rahul Dravid, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli. Also, of the finest non-Indian cricketers like Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Brian Lara, Wasim Akram, Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Jacques Kallis and some more whose names I do not remember right now. Thousands might come and go. But one person who stands out of the crowd, who is dearest to us all and who leaves footprints in our hearts for eternity is Dr. Sachin Tendulkar.
In higher-primary school our craze for cricket was so high that we were playing paper-cricket in the classes. We just need a paper and a pencil for paper-cricket. We could score 1, 2, 4, and 6 runs and we defined our own rules. It was so much fun. Then came the game of trump cards, where each card had a cricketer’s name and his achievements like runs, wickets, catches, matches and so on. If the number on our card was greater compared to that of the other person then we get the other person’s card. Aim of the game was to get all the cards. If we had a Sachin Tendulkar card, we knew for sure that we could win the other person’s card, whomever it might be.
I like one day internationals more than test cricket. My chance of watching a one day international cricket game was fair if the opposite team was West Indies, South Africa, England or New Zealand. The chance was good if the opposite team was Australia. I would definitely watch the game if the opposite team was Pakistan. The time when Sachin was batting in the semi-finals or finals of a major tournament when the opposite team was Pakistan or Australia were some of tensest moments of my life. Heart beats would increase exponentially during the climax of these matches. The sense of patriotism, unity, giving for the country is aroused in me to the maximum extent when Sachin batted.
My mom is a Sachin fan. We watch Sachin bat with utter concentration. If the match is a day-and-night match, she tries to cook and watch the match simultaneously, which has led to some of the weirdest dishes she ever made. If Sachin was out by any chance we would have no interest in watching the match however important that might be. Such was our love towards Sachin. He was so dear to us, dearer than the Indian cricket team. As Mark Taylor says, We did not lose to a team called India, we lost to a man called Sachin. As Sachin had made India win in numerous occasions, Sachin scoring a century was equally important to me as India winning the match, may be more.
Sachin getting prepared for each and every ball, being cool at all moments whether he scores a zero or a double century, always working for the team, if he is out then leaving the playground without waiting for a decision from an umpire, being humble even if we wins the highest honor of a nation, his innocent baby-like face carrying a cute smile and most of all his simplicity have made people like me love him and respect him as the man of the nation. When Sachin bats, the whole nation unites and celebrates the festival of cricket. It is only through great people like Sachin that India can unite crossing the boundaries and barriers of religion, caste, language, culture, and socio-economic class.
Sachin had a dream of playing for the country, a dream of showering runs for the team and a dream of winning world cup for India. He has fulfilled his dream. He will always be an inspiration for me and several millions across the globe. Love you Sachin. Thank you for everything you have given to us. Sachin to me is not just a person. Sachin to me is cricket. Sachin to me is a concept, an idea, and a dream. Let us try to nurture the Sachin in us and live like a concept, an idea, and a dream.